American Beauty Analysis

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John Smith Music Lessons Music in movies create the mood and over all feeling of the scenes. The music can show how characters develop as well. In the movie American Beauty, by Sam Mendes in 1999, music is used to show character development and views of the characters as well as to set the mood of the scene. The movie American Beauty is about Lester Burnham’s (Kevin Spacey) journey from living a life he loathes to coming to terms with his life and excepting it. Along the way he has multiple tests of character like dealing with his own lust for an underage girl and dealing with his employers. All throughout this movie, music plays a key role in showing character development for Lester and others as well. As the movie begins, the introduction song starts to play and sounds very simple with not many changes in tempo or played notes. The song just repeats the same melody repeatedly and sounds rather boring. This sets the tone to show how Lester feels about his life at this point. He feels like he is a complete loser and boring which is true, but he doesn’t do anything about it, well at least not until he meets Angela Hayes, (Mena Suvari). Caroline, (Annette Benning), and Lester go to Jane’s, (Thora Birch), cheerleading performance and it is here where Lester sees Angela for the first time. When the Cheer team starts to dance the song playing is called “Back to Broadway” but in the middle of Hardy 2 the song Lester sees Angela and a Fantasy begins in his mind. At this moment, the Music changes to music with no melody or rhythm to it and has a bunch of weird noises thrown in with it making the listener feel like they are in a dream, which is the purpose. Also, the fact that the music makes no sense helps to add to the fact that what Lester is doing is wrong. By the end of the dance scene Lester is awestruck by Angela and a change begins inside him as he tries

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